Mar
11
2010

A Part of the National Psyche

Victor Davis Hanson notes that one reason for American exceptionalism may be that we did not inherit from England "a large underclass of only quasi-free people attached to barons as serfs." Sadly, a worse institution took root here, but never became part of the national psyche. –Rich Lowry & Ramesh Ponnuru (National Review Online, 3/8/10, via Crooked Timber, 3/9/10) So, David Paterson will become the massa who gets to appoint whoever gets to take [Rep. Eric] Massa's place. So, for the first time in his life, Paterson's gonna be a massa. Interesting, interesting. –Rush Limbaugh (Rush Limbaugh Show, 3/9/10, via […]

Jan
15
2010

Heartless, Patronizing Haiti Pundits

While many are opening their hearts and purses to Haiti's suffering, itâ┚¬Ã¢”ž¢s important to note the corporate media's high profile exceptions. Televangelist Pat Robertson, carried on Disney's Family Channel, suggested Haiti invited the disaster by making a deal with the devil 200 years ago (FAIR Blog, 1/14/09). Radio big Rush Limbaugh discouraged donating to Haiti disaster relief on his January 13 show, saying: "We've already donated to Haiti. It's called the U.S. income tax…. You just canâ┚¬Ã¢”ž¢t keep throwing money at it." Meanwhile, Fox's Bill O'Reilly and New York Times columnist David Brooks each presented nauseatingly patronizing prescriptions for Haitiâ┚¬Ã¢”ž¢s […]

Oct
22
2009

Limbaugh's Selective Outrage Over False Quotations

John K. Wilson (Obamapolitics, 10/16/09) on Rush Limbaugh and fake quotes: When it came to people repeating false quotes about Limbaugh that Limbaugh himself had never bothered to deny, Limbaugh was outraged: "we are in the process behind the scenes working to get apologies and retractions with the force of legal action against every journalist who has published these entirely fabricated quotes about me, slavery, and James Earl Ray." But when it came to his own false quotes, Limbaugh has been entirely indifferent to fake quotes. In one of his books, Limbaugh claimed to be quoting James Madison: "We have […]

Oct
07
2009

'Rush the Racist' Bidding for St. Louis Rams?

"Rush the Racist?" is the headline over a commentary written by retired NFL receiver Keenan McCardell on the Washington Post's sports blog, the League–and the question many football fans might ask upon hearing the news that Rush Limbaugh is bidding to become co-owner of the St. Louis Rams. That's because Limbaugh has a long record of making racist remarks. In a Los Angeles Times op-ed written by FAIR founder Jeff Cohen and myself, we documented many instances of Limbaugh's racism, including his admission that he once told a black caller to "take that bone out of your nose," his assertion […]

Sep
20
2009

Localism: Corporate Media's Ultimate Bogeyman

On his Media Citizen blog, Free Press' Timothy Karr (9/17/09) has compiled some astounding Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh and Lou Dobbs quotes propounding a "fear that's laced with paranoia, stoked by misinformation and prejudice and fed to millions of people via powerful media"–namely that "the most anti-American notion of the lot is the idea that we need to reform the media itself": While Beck and his ilk want to portray diversity and localism as a dangerous conspiracy to censor, the fact remains that these ideas have been staples of communications policy since the beginning. The central mandate of the Federal […]

Sep
16
2009

Are Obama's Critics Racist? Why Don't We Listen to Them?

Former President Jimmy Carter's statement (NBC, 9/15/09) that "I think an overwhelming portion of the intensely demonstrated animosity toward President Barack Obama is based on the fact that he is a black man, that he's African-American," has generated widespread discussion in the corporate media. But few of the many analyses of Carter's remarks give you much of a sense of why one might think that many of Obama's foes are motivated by racism. No one can look into another person's heart, of course. But many of Obama's most prominent critics have talked enough about the president and race to provide […]

Aug
16
2009

Advertisers Black Out Liberal Radio, Pay Up for Haters

Media Matters research director Jeremy Schulman (8/12/09) writes that "Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaughand Lou Dobbs have used their radio and television shows to incite hatred and push wild conspiracy theories, leading several of Beck's advertisers to reportedly pull out of his broadcasts"–one of the hazards inherent in for-profit media. But "many advertisers have nonetheless sponsored these hosts' hate speech in recent weeks, including major corporations and organizations that, in 2006, reportedly requested that ABC Radio Networks not air their advertisements during any Air America programs": At the time, ABC subsequently provided a statement to Media Matters, which read: "It is […]

Aug
09
2009

Left's Non-Smears Worse Than Right's Nazi Talk?

Glenn Greenwald has responded via his regular Salon feature (8/6/09, ad-viewing required) to Rush Limbaugh, "speaking to his audience of 15 million, compar[ing] Barack Obama to Adolph Hitler and Nancy Pelosi to Nazi leaders," by asking you to instead compare (a) the way that a single anonymous person's comparison of Bush and Hitler swamped our political discourse and forever altered the image of MoveOn with (b) what the (non)-reaction will be to the identical comparison coming from the leader of the Republican Party who spouts his hate-mongering to an audience of 15 million people. Within that comparison one finds many […]

Jun
02
2009

Sotomayor Coverage the Very 'Antithesis of Journalism'

Progressive critic Dr. Roberto Rodriguez has a new commentary (New America Media, 6/2/09) demonstrating how the miserable press reaction to Judge Sonia Sotomayor's U.S. Supreme Court "nomination clearly shows us is that what this nation needs is more incisive journalism, not less." But, Rodriguez laments, "to be sure, the rise of right-wing media, which include Fox News and virtually all the known right-wing radio talkshow hosts, is the antithesis of journalism": Their coverage of the Sotomayor nomination points to the need for honest debate, not simply on the issues of race, but on the right wing's aversion to truth. It […]

May
15
2009

Don't Even THINK of Lying to Bob Schieffer

CBS anchor Bob Schieffer was profiled byMarketwatch, where we learn: But don't get the false impression that Schieffer is a pushover for his important guests. When I asked him how he feels when subjects lie to him on the air or try to mislead the audience, he got right to the point. "I want to jump across the table and choke them," he said. Wow. First of all, this Marketwatch piece is largely about Schieffer's recent interview with former Vice President Dick Cheney. The irony isalmost too much; as Colin Powell's former chief of staff Lawrence Wilkerson put it to […]

May
13
2009

Rush Limbaugh Comes Right Out and Says It

Political Animal's Steve Benen (5/12/09) notes a recent Rush Limbaugh broadcast (5/11/09) that makes the racist subtext of the right's critique of Barack Obama virtually explicit: The [economic] deterioration reflects lower tax revenues and higher costs for bank failures, unemployment benefits and food stamps. But in the Oval Office of the White House none of this is a problem. This is the objective. The objective is unemployment. The objective is more food stamp benefits. The objective is more unemployment benefits. The objective is an expanding welfare state. And the objective is to take the nation's wealth and return to it […]

Apr
01
2009

Listening to Limbaugh

In his op-ed "Take the Limbaugh Challenge," (L.A. Times, 3/29/09), conservative writer Andrew Klavanstates as a "certainty" that L.A. Times readers don't listen to Rush Limbaugh's show: If you are reading this newspaper, the likelihood is that you agree with the Obama administration's recent attacks on conservative radio talker Rush Limbaugh. That's the likelihood; here's the certainty: You've never listened to Rush Limbaugh. What's more, Klavan claims to listen to Limbaugh frequently, and says he has never heard him "utter a single racist, hateful or stupid word." To someone like me who has been talking about racist, hateful and stupid […]

Mar
13
2009

LAT False Equivalence: Michael Moore = Limbaugh

Over on Media Matters' County Fair blog (3/12/09), Jamison Foser asks, "Is there any major-newspaper reporter who is more consistently wrong than Andrew Malcolm?" The latest gaffe by the Laura Bush flak-turned-L.A. Times writer comes in response to filmmaker Michael Moore's explaining what he sees as the difference between Democratic framing of Rush Limbaugh as the GOP's real leader and Republicans' similar claim about Moore and the Democratic Party: But some commentators (Richard Wolffe of Newsweek, Chuck Todd of NBC News, etc.) have likened this to "what Republicans tried to do to the Democrats with Michael Moore." Perhaps. But there […]